by Daniel Sim

Let’s face it.

Running a Shopify store isn’t easy.

It is even more difficult if you are a one-man show and hustling your way through marketing, packaging, ensuring order delivery, and whatnot.

When your store is relatively new and small, you want to have those early customers fast to validate your product and idea.

You rely on Facebook and Google paid traffic for it. And there is nothing wrong with that.

Unfortunately, when you are starting-off, you run on a shoestring budget most of the time.

You just can’t depend on paid channels for 100% of the traffic coming to your Shopify store.

This is when you start to look for alternative channels and your options are:

  1. Organic Traffic (SEO)
  2. Social Media
  3. Email Marketing

As the reach of organic social is decreasing day by day, it is tough to drive a significant amount of traffic and sales from it, unless you have a huge following.

And for email marketing to work, you need to have a decent size list, if not a huge one.

Now you are left with one option - Organic Traffic (SEO)!

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can be one of the most powerful ways to generate traffic for your Shopify store.

When you know how to hit the first page of Google for certain keywords, you’ll be able to place your Shopify store in front of people who are actively looking to spend money.  

In this series, we’re going to tear down every piece involved in Shopify SEO and show how you can achieve such results and make SEO work for your Shopify store.

We will start with some of the basic aspects of Shopify SEO, such as keyword research and will also dive deeper into some of the advanced SEO techniques such as schema markup, site architecture, and more.

In this post, we will cover everything you need to get started and find high buyer intent keywords:

  1. Seed keyword vs. long-tail keywords.
  2. The step-by-step guide to find high buyer intent keywords.
  3. Metrics to look for while doing keyword research.

By the end of this series, you’ll know how to use SEO to boost the visibility and sales of your Shopify store in a sustainable way.

Let’s begin.

Importance Of Keyword Research

Keywords are the foundation of your Shopify store, so it is important that you carefully evaluate the building blocks of your store.

It is the practice of researching words and phrases your potential customers are searching for on Google and other major search engines. 

In simple terms, keywords are the search terms related to the products you sell on your Shopify store. 

Contrary to popular belief, keyword research is not a one-time task. The way people search an item differs from person to person. With time, their search preferences also change and this leads to the formation of new relevant keywords.

So, If you are not on the top of your keyword research game and regularly assessing the way your potential customers search in your niche, you are giving your competition an easy chance to outrank and outrun you. 

And that’s not a good sign for you and your business. 

But you don’t need to worry!

This post aims to give you a clear set of instructions to step up your keyword research game and stay in front.

Seed Keywords vs. Long-tail Keywords

Keywords are mainly of two types:

  1. Seed keyword
  2. Long tail keyword

Seed Keyword

A Seed keyword A.K.A ‘primary keyword’ or the ‘head keyword’ is the starting point of any keyword research.

Seed keyword typically consists of just one or two words.

Let’s say, you sell premium or high-end wrist watches on your Shopify store. In your case, relevant seed keywords are:

  • Watches
  • Wrist watches
  • Men watches
  • Women watches
  • Ladies watches
  • Kids watches

Long-tail Keyword

According to Wordstream, Long-tail keywords are longer and more specific keyword phrases that visitors are more likely to use when they’re closer to a point-of-purchase or when they're using voice search. 

In simple terms, long-tail keywords are a seed keyword + a modifier.

This is why you can’t start with long tail keywords until you compile a list of seed keywords for your Shopify store.

Usually, a long tail keyword consists of three or more words.

Continuing with our example of premium or high-end wrist watch Shopify store, a few relevant long tail keywords are:

  • Premium wrist watches for men
  • Premium wrist watches for women
  • [Brand Name] wrist watches for men
    • Rolex wrist watches for men
  • party wear wrist watches 

Now that we know the difference between seed keywords and long tail keywords, let's dive into the process of finding high buyer intent keywords.

The Step-By-Step Process To Find High Buyer Intent Keywords

Before we start with the process, we want to make one thing clear.

There is no one universal process to perform keyword research and find buyer intent keywords.

Every SEO expert follows a different process that one has formulated after years of trial and error. The process we are going to reveal next is the byproduct of our 4 years of trial and error in the Shopify SEO niche and we are now very confident that it works.

In this post, we will be using Google Keyword Planner (a free keyword tool from Google) to perform keyword research.

Though It is not the best keyword tool available, it is your best bet if you’re on a budget, because it is free.

Once your Shopify store starts generating revenue, you must definitely think about investing in advanced (paid) keyword tools such as SEMrush, LSI Keywords and others.

That’s because such tools make it easy for you to find opportunities that would be hard to otherwise locate using the Google Keyword Planner.

Note: To use Google Keyword Planner, you need to have a Google Adwords account. Google doesn’t allow you to use its keyword tool without an Adwords account. So, if you don’t have an Adwords account, create one now, and come back to this section of  the post.

Now that you have a Google Adwords account, let’s start without any further delay:

Step-1: Find and compile your seed keywords list

Head over to Google Keyword Planner here - https://ads.google.com/aw/keywordplanner/home

You should see this screen.

Shopify SEO: Using Keyword Planner for keyword research

Click on ‘ Discover new keywords.’

You’ll then see the following ‘box’ on your screen next.

In the given field, type in your ‘base keyword.’

Don’t overcomplicate this base keyword, as your goal at the moment is to identify as many keyword opportunities as possible.

For the sake of this, let’s continue with the same example of a Shopify store that sells premium or high-end wrist watches.

Your base keyword, therefore is going to be ‘wrist watch.

Then click on ‘Get Started.’

You should then see a screen like the one below.

As shown above, there are around ‘74000’ average monthly searches for the term ‘wrist watch.’

This is good, because it means that there is a demand for the products you are selling.

It’s also good, because it represents a lot of potential keywords (and therefore opportunities) you can go after.

Now, one thing you’ll notice on this page is that there are two tabs on the left side panel: 

  • Keyword Ideas
  • Grouped Ideas
  •  

    The ‘Keyword ideas’ tab, simply lists all of the keywords that the Keyword Planner has found, in relation to the ‘base’ keyword that was initially typed in, as shown above.

    On the other hand, the ‘Grouped ideas’ tab groups keywords together into topics, as shown below.

    So what should you do now?

    Well, before you do anything else, let’s quickly understand how you should analyze the data returned by the keyword tool.

    More specifically how you should use the following metrics to strengthen your strategy.

    • Avg. monthly searches, 
    • Competition and 
    • Suggested bid

    Note: Please keep in mind that the ‘Competition’ and ‘Suggested bid’ columns provide data based in relation to AdWords.

    • The competition column lets you know how many advertisers are competing to bid for a particular term. 
    • The ‘Suggested bid’ column lets you know what advertisers are typically paying, for a specific keyword.

    Now, whilst this data is designed to help people using AdWords, it can still be used for SEO.

    How?

    If a keyword has a high suggested bid, it’s often because there are people making money by placing ads for that keyword.

    The same applies to keywords that have a lot of competition – advertisers are competing for a reason.

    If your Shopify store can rank for these ‘high-value’ keywords, you’ll be able to get a ton of profitable traffic, that other companies are willing to pay a lot of money for.

    Should I focus on ‘high-value’ keyword or go after ‘high-traffic’ keyword?

    Our natural tendency is to go after the keywords that are driving the most traffic – the keywords with higher ‘Avg. monthly searches.’

    But a lot of the time, these keywords drive traffic that is not targeted and does not generate sales.

    On the other hand, you’ll find the more specific keywords with lower search volumes, are the ones that tend to provide the best traffic.

    This is why we recommend to consider ‘bid’ and ‘competition’ along with ‘avg. monthly searches’ when deciding on the keywords you should go after

    Keeping that in mind, let’s see how we can find the keywords that will be worth incorporating into your Shopify SEO strategy. 

    Let’s take a close look at the screenshot below and focus on ‘keyword’ and sort the keywords by suggested bid.

    Here’s what happened when I sorted the keywords based on the ‘top of page bid (high range).’

    As you can see, the top of page bids for the highlighted keywords are quite high and there are individuals willing to pay as much as $6.25 per click for certain keywords.

    One thing you might notice with the highlighted keywords, is that the ‘Avg. monthly searches’ are on the lower side for them.

    However, as mentioned earlier, because these keywords are likely to drive a lot of profitable traffic, the low search volume can be excused.

    If you look at the screenshot, you’ll notice that I’ve highlighted some high value generic keywords that look good to rank for.

    Long Tail Keywords

    As we learned earlier in the post, long tail keywords are highly specific keywords with three or more words.

    Because the people typing in long tail keywords are being so specific, there’s often a good chance that such individuals will eventually become customers.

    Circling back to our Shopify store example, traffic related to ‘gold watches for men’ is high quality, as signified by the fact that other businesses are willing to pay a cost per click of $2.79 to get themselves in front of people typing in the keyword.

    Therefore, if someone is typing in a keyword that is related to gold watches for men, and end up on your site (as a result of you organically ranking for a ‘long tail keyword’ with your SEO efforts) there’s a good chance that they’ll convert to paying customers.

    Another way to find long tail keywords suggestion is to make use of the ‘Autosuggest’ feature provided by the ‘Google search bar.’

    If I type in the phrase ‘gold watches for men’ I’m instantly presented with a keyword - gold watches for men online - that represents a potential opportunity.

    If I run a search for this keyword, I see that there are only a couple of web pages that accurately cover this keyword – an opportunity right there for me.

    While it can take a lot of time and effort to find long tail keyword opportunities, you’ll realize these keywords present a lot of potential. 

    Now let’s go back to Keyword Planner tool and see how you can use it to find long tail keyword opportunities:

    Not many know that the “Grouped Ideas” feature is a gold mine of long tail keyword opportunities.

    Let’s go back to our seed keyword - wrist watch- and see what does it have to offer?

    As shown in the above image, a wide range of Keyword Groups have been returned in relation to the seed keyword ‘wrist watch.’

    If I click on any one of these Keyword Groups, It then shows a wide range of keywords that represent the “Keyword Group Topic.”

    For instance, here are the keywords that appear when I selected the ‘Branded Wrist’ Keyword Group.

    A couple of these keywords have high search volume and high demand.

    So how should you approach it from this point?

    You don’t need to overcomplicate things here. 

    Pick the relevant “Grouped Ideas” and,

    • Create a long form content piece to cover all the keywords
    • Use the different variations from one ‘group’ and use it on your product or category pages.

    So for the ‘Branded Wrist’ group, you create an in-depth content piece and use the use suggestions from the group as potential topics you can cover within the post.

    By creating an in depth long piece of content, it could potentially be easier to attract a lot of links.

    It will also drive a lot of long tail traffic as people will be searching for keywords related to what can be found in the Grouped Ideas.

    Conclusion: It’s Your Time To Take Action 

    WOW… This is too much to digest at one go.

    Around over 2,200 words later… give yourself a pat on the back if you have made it this far. You deserve it.

    The good news is that you now have the exact step-by-step process that I formulated after years of trial and errors. 

    We use it our business too and it works 9 out of 10 times. I wish I had a similar proven process when I started way back.

    I don’t want you to go through the same trial & error.

    All you have to do is, follow each step religiously, check all the boxes, and find the high buying intent keywords that will help your store rank better and drive loads on organic traffic..

    And, yes. Don’t forget to share your results and experience with me in the comment section below.

    Ending Note

    As I mentioned at the start of the post, we are going to cover each aspect of Shopify SEO in detail, one at a time.

    In our next post, we will uncover the On-page SEO secrets you must implement to improve ranking and boost the visibility of your Shopify store.

    Want to be among the first ones to get your hands to it, get on our list and we will inform you when the post goes live.

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